I live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles north of Philadelphia (mid-Zone 6 to lower Zone 7, depending on whose map you use). Under the supervision of my two alpacas, Duncan and Daniel, I garden here at Hayefield on four acres in full sun: about two acres of managed meadow, one acre of pasture, and one acre of intensively planted garden and open shrubbery areas. This garden is entering its 14th year in 2015.
My previous place, a bit north of here, was just a fifth of an acre, and mostly shaded. Besides the garden and greenhouse, it was home to Pendragon Perennials, a tiny rare-plant nursery that I started in 1995 and closed in 2000, when I ran out of gardening space and sold that house.
I’ve had a lifelong love of plants, but it didn’t develop into a full-blown obsession until my late teens. I earned a B.S. degree in Agronomy and Environmental Science from Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, spending the summers working as a gardener on various estates in the Philadelphia area. I then worked at Rodale Press Garden Books as a Senior Associate Editor before leaving to work as a freelance garden-book writer, editor, and photographer.
I consider myself an equal-opportunity plant geek, but my current “thing” is colored foliage (specifically, variegated and chartreuse leaves). And ornamental grasses. And meadows. And herbs. And vegetables. Oh, and shrubs, too. And annuals, of course. Um…just about all kinds of outdoors plants, actually. I also enjoy raising plants from seed. That’s how I ended up starting a nursery at my last place. (When you’re growing from seed, it’s just as easy to pot up three dozen seedlings as it is to pot up three, you know.) Here, I’m never at a loss for places to put new plants.
Below are links to some of the books I’ve written. If you have any questions about my writings or images, feel free to e-mail me at nan (at) hayefield (dot) com. Please note that Hayefield is a private garden and not open for public tours.
- Five-Plant Gardens: 52 Ways to Grow a Perennial Garden with Just Five Plants [at Amazon; at Barnes & Noble; at IndieBound]
- Tried and True Perennials [at Amazon]
- The Perennial Care Manual: A Plant by Plant Guide [at Amazon; at Barnes & Noble; at IndieBound]
- Lessons from Linden Hill: Design Tips and Planning Pointers [at Amazon]
- Foliage: Astonishing Color and Texture beyond Flowers [at Amazon; at Barnes & Noble; at IndieBound]
- Fallscaping: Extending your Garden Season into Autumn [at Amazon; at Barnes & Noble; at IndieBound]
- Grasses: Versatile Partners for Uncommon Garden Design [at Amazon; at Barnes & Noble; at IndieBound]
- The Perennial Gardener’s Design Primer [at Amazon; at Barnes & Noble; at IndieBound]
- Taylor’s Guide to Roses: How to Select and Grow 380 Roses [at Amazon; at Barnes & Noble; at IndieBound]
- Taylor’s Weekend Gardening Guide to Soil and Composting [at Amazon; at Barnes & Noble; at IndieBound]
- Taylor’s Easy Plant Propagation [at Amazon; at Barnes & Noble; at IndieBound]
- Landscaping with Herbs [at Amazon; at Barnes & Noble]
- Rodale’s Successful Organic Gardening: Annuals and Bulbs [at Amazon; at Barnes & Noble]
Photo at top by Rob Cardillo.